Month: July 2007

When Renewable Energy Isn’t

Jeffrey CarlsonCascade Commentary


By defining the state’s most abundant energy resource, running water, as “non-renewable,” Oregon’s new renewable energy portfolio standard proves to be arbitrary and punitive. Furthermore, the law excludes many renewable energy power plants in Oregon from counting towards the renewable energy goal for no environmentally significant reason. (more…)

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Another Path to Insuring More Oregonians

Anthony StintonCascade Commentary


While consumer choice is a proven cost-cutter, health insurance mandates raise premiums, resulting in fewer people covered. Oregon should try a pilot project allowing health insurers to offer mandate-free policies, allowing consumers to choose basic, or more elaborate, health insurance coverage suited to their needs and budgets. (more…)

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Testimony before the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission on Qwest’s Cable Franchise Proposal

Steve BucksteinMembers of the Commission, my name is Steve Buckstein. I’m Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Portland. Our mission is to advance policies that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity in Oregon.

In the late 1980s I remember one Multnomah County Commissioner campaigning on a platform of bringing multiple cable TV providers to the county. Hopefully, tonight is the night that promise will come true. The mere choice of providers is, I believe, the most powerful public benefit that will be generated with the acceptance of Qwest’s franchise request.

We can speculate about why there hasn’t been any real (more…)

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Portland’s Transportation Future: Back to the Past?

Jeffrey CarlsonQuickPoint!

In the optimistic decades of the 1950s and 60s, Americans had bold visions for the future. In the area of personal transportation, flying cars, spaceships, and even Star Trek transporters seemed just around the corner. Today those ideas might seem fanciful, but they were forward-thinking concepts.

Contrast these forward-thinking concepts to Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams’ vision presented to the City Club last Friday. Adams asked, “What would Portland look like if (more…)

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Recently, Willamette Week printed a story regarding non-profit organizations utilizing the Cooler Email system to violate the privacy rights of their email audiences. Cascade Policy Institute was one of the organizations mentioned in this article. On Sunday, July 15, the subject arose again on the Kremer and Abrams talk show on KXL radio. To clarify, here at Cascade Policy Institute, we use the Cooler system to promote our Speaker’s Bureau and to send weekly policy briefs and event invitations to our constituents. We do not track who forwards our info to whom, nor do we read personal comments written by our readers. Cooler merely provides a convenient means for us to send mass emails to a large audience. We cannot speak for other organizations who use Cooler, but, at Cascade, we use this service with integrity and we respect the privacy of our readers. Thank you.

To read the Willamette Week article, please log on here. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Tina Pisenti at Cascade Policy Institute, at 503-242-0900.

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What the Legislature Hath Wrought

Matt WingardCascade Commentary


The 2007 Oregon Legislative Session ended June 28. With very few exceptions, nothing the legislature did made Oregonians more free. Most of the legislation advanced government intervention into our lives, our economy and our interactions with each other. (more…)

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New Mandates, New Costs

Anthony StintonQuickPoint!

What do acupuncturists, drug abuse treatment, and non-custodial children have in common? Oregonians cannot buy private health insurance that does not pay for or cover all three. They represent three of the state’s 33 health insurance mandates. Mandates are benefits, providers, and persons that must be included in all private health insurance policies. The list of mandates is expanding: The legislature added contraceptives, prosthetics and orthotics, and treatment for intoxicant-related injuries in the recently-concluded 2007 session (House Bills 2700, 2517, and 2348 respectively).

Requiring insurers to cover more conditions seems like (more…)

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Emergency Price Controls: The Wrong Policy

Daniel RoncariQuickPoint!

Oregon has recently passed a new law (Senate Bill 118) in an attempt to prohibit so-called “price-gouging” after an emergency or natural disaster. Although the purpose of the bill is to protect Oregonians from being charged excessive prices after an emergency, the new law likely will make a bad situation worse.

The market has a built-in mechanism to ensure that goods are directed to where they are most needed. When a natural disaster or emergency occurs, demand for essential goods immediately (more…)

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Economic Fairness for Whom?

Inessa M. Hamilton-LeeQuickPoint!

This week, four new laws went into effect making it illegal for Oregon payday lenders and the like to charge more than approximately 36 percent annualized interest. The bills boast tighter regulations, limits on fees, and other anti-market sentiments that ultimately hurt us, the consumers. This slate of legislation was touted as consumer protection against predatory lenders, insultingly implying not only that consumers are prey, but that it is predatory for lenders to do what bests supports their families.

Our Oregon,” a self-proclaimed progressive non-profit organization for economic fairness, organized the (more…)

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